Salem Marine Society

From Salem Links and Lore
  • On the rooftop of the Hawthorne Hotel stands an exact replica of a cabin from the Taria Topan, one of the last vessels to ply the lucrative East India Trade. This unique structure is the headquarters of the Salem Marine Society which has met on this site, almost uninterrupted, since 1830. The cabin is not open to the public.
  • The Salem Marine Society was organized by captains and shipowners in 1766 to share navigation information and to provide benefits for needy members and their families. It is the oldest charitable organization in Salem.
  • In 1791, the Salem Marine Society members erected a lighthouse on Baker's Island, to help sailor's navigating the rocky shores of Salem.
  • The society came into possession of the Franklin Building in 1833, from the estate of Capt. Thomas Perkins, a large brick block on corner of Essex St. and Washington Square. The Society agreed to raze the Franklin Building and sell the land in order to build the Hawthorne Hotel. In exchange, the hotel built a room for the society to use on the top floor.
  • This society also ran the Seaman's Bethel at the foot of Turner St.

[[SalemMarineSociety fr.jpg

See Also

  • Postcard Photograph courtesy of
  • "An upside-down hero: 147 years later, traitor will find a measure of dignity in Salem" Salem News, Mar. 24, 2008 p. 1
  • "Vessel cabin replica hidden at top of hotel" Salem Evening News, June 20, 2001, p. A 3